FLORIDA CITY (CBSMiami) – The family of Mariah Johnson said the little girl would have turned two next month.  Now homicide detectives are investigating her death.

At approximately 12:20 pm, officers with the Florida City Police Department responded to reports of a missing child at 905 W. Palm Drive, according to Miami-Dade Police.

Police, family members, and neighbors began searching for Mariah knocking on doors and checking nearby businesses to see if anyone had seen the little girl.

Richard, who asked us not to use his last name, said he saw a man asking for help to find a missing child.

A short time later, Richard said he saw the same man, pulling a little girl out of a hole or ditch in the ground.

“He pulled her out and was trying to revive her.  The mom did CPR but it was already too late,” said Richard, adding, “Everybody was falling on the floor screaming just a sad moment you know just really sad.”

The child was unresponsive. She was transported to Homestead Hospital where she died, according to police.

The hole where Mariah was found is next to an abandoned building. Neighbors described it as several feet deep and said it sometimes fills with water.

Antonio Green explained, “It’s been open like that for the past six or seven months.”

It’s not clear how the little girl ended up there. Police say she died at the hospital. The cause of death is still under investigation.

Saturday night, crews were seen filling the hole with dirt.

Mariah’s aunt described the child as “joyful.”


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